Brunetti

Ah Brunetti, the famous dessert house on Lygon Street is always filled with people, especially on a breezy Summer night, which is when we visited.

Nutella Ice Cream Sandwich – $5.00
The large display of cakes, macarons, tarts, pastries, and every other Italian dessert you can think of, makes it so hard to pick just a few things. However, I had my eyes set on the ice cream sandwich this time. It was a no-brainer to pick the nutella one, since I’m as obsessed with nutella as just about 2104374912372 other people around the world. The biscuit was crumbly, and the ice cream was mostly vanilla, with a hint of nutella, and the nuts added some crunch to the whole thing.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich – $5.00

The salted caramel ice cream was had a much stronger flavour. The only one negative about these sandwich is that they’re so freaking hard to eat! Due to the thickness of the ice cream, it’s pretty much impossible to fit into your mouth. A knife and fork may come in handy!

As I mentioned before, Brunetti has a large dessert selection, so if you ever feel like some dessert while wanting to keep your options open, Brunetti may just be where you want to visit.

How to get there:
Brunetti is located on Lygon Street, catch any of the trams heading towards suburbs from Melbourne Central and get off at University of Melbourne, and Brunetti is a short five minutes walk away.

Brunetti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Big Design Market

It’s that time of the year again, where markets of all sorts are popping up left, right and center. For three days, The Big Design Market is taking up the space of Royal Exhibition Building, and they are filling it with over 60 stalls, and don’t worry, there are plenty of food options around for when you need a break, such as Miss Chu, Earl Canteen, as well as some food trucks, that I will be blogging about in a later post.

Sweet William Art Prints – 2 for $25
Mi Goals Hard Cover Diary – $32.95
Pana Chocolate – 3 for $15

These are the things I bought from the market, some art prints from Sweet William, a 2016 diary from Mi Goals, and because I spent a good ten minutes trying out the display, some raw, vegan, organic and all-so-delicious chocolate from Pana Chocolate.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s at the Royal Exhibition Building, not the Exhibition Centre, and if you get those two mixed up, well, you’ll end up at a tattoo exhibition like I was. Although it can get quite warm inside, browsing the stalls definitely is a great distraction, and if all else fails, grab an icy cold drink and you’ll be revitalised in no time!

I spent around two hours browsing through the different stalls, and trust me, there will be something for everyone. I gravitated towards the art, jewellery and paper goods ones just ’cause those things intrigue me, however, there were also an abundance of homeware, tech, plant, ceramics stalls amongst everything else. It’s definitely worth a visit, you might be able to find some things to tick off your Christmas shoppings list too!

Details:
$2 entrance fee, and the market will only be around until this Sunday! For more information, here is the website!

How to get there:
The Big Design Market is happening in the Royal Exhibition Building, which is a ten minutes walk from Parliament station.

#ZOMATOMEETUP | D.O.C. Delicatessen

Don’t you hate it when a lecturer is so boring and it makes the most interesting content unbearable? I used to hate Wednesdays because of this, since I picked out the subject based on the false belief that the content would be super intriguing, I mean okay, the readings are pretty dry and that’s not the lecturer’s fault, but a good lecturer really makes all the difference. So glad I switched out of that subject. But anyway, this long rant introduction does have a purpose – a few weeks ago, after a bad Wednesday, I was lucky enough to be invited to another Zomato Meetup at D.O.C Delicatessen, and the food was good enough to turn my day around!

Parmigiano Reggiano

I arrived a bit early, and we were served some beautiful cubes of parmigiano reggiano drizzled with honey. Everytime the board came out, we demolished it within seconds, hence why I only managed to snatch a photo with two last remaining pieces on the board. Now when it comes to cheese, I really am no connoisseur, I mean, I like them enough, but lack extensive knowledge of the specific region or the making process of the cheese themselves. However, I didn’t have to be an expert to appreciate these hard and gritty parmigiano reggiano with a nutty taste.

Salumi and Local Handmade Mozzarella

We started the meal with the antipasto plate, and without a doubt, my favourite was the buffalo mozzarella! The texture was so light, that it made me go back for way more than I should have. We were so unprepared for the amount of food that was going to be served.

Everyone oohed and aahed when the first main was brought to the table in a giant cheese wheel. Seriously, how are we supposed to eat pasta served on regular plates after this?!

Mezza Paccero from Gragnano w/ Spaccatella Tomatoes, Buffalo Ricotta & Basil

The pasta tasted as good as it looked. The simplicity of it was what really impressed me, the trio of ingredients – tomato, basil, ricotta, dressed the Mezza paccero beautifully, and the quality of the ingredients were definitely top notch.

The next main was cooked on a stove right next to us, and of course, the food bloggers gathered around and took plenty of photos!

Handmade Black Gnocchi w/ Scampi & Scallops on Pea & Broad Bean Puree

The freshly seared scampis was loaded onto the black gnocchi. This was probably my favourite dish of the night, even though I was getting sooooooo full by this point, I still managed to finish most of the plate! The gnocchi had a very light and almost silk-like texture, and paired beautifully with both the unami of seafood and the delicate pea and broad bean puree.

DOC Tiramisu

Of course, no Italian dinner is complete without some good ol’ tiramisu. This was again, beautiful (am I overusing that word?). The sponge were light and fluffy, and soaked up the espresso liqueur quite well. Every bite was sweet, but not overly sweet, with a coffee after taste.

Caffe Neopolitan Stovetop Caffettiera

The coffee was very refined and strong, I gotta admit, it was a bit too bitter for me.

Handmade Biscotti

I could snack on these for days, if I wasn’t literally bursting with food by this point! I shared a hazelnut biscotti with a fellow blogger, and it was wonderful! Chewy in the centre, with a crunchy exterior, these are definitely made with love.

Amara Blood Orange Digestive Liquor

Although this was a blood orange liqueur, it helps with digestion apparently (which we definitely were in need for)! It had a 30% alcohol level, and I only had a tiny little sip.

The evening was filled with laughter, amazing food and friendly service! And it reinstated the importance of great quality produce to me. I can’t wait to be returning to D.O.C. for some more of their beautiful Italian food!

How to get there:
D.O.C. Delicatessen is located on Lygon Street, a short 5 minutes walk from the tram stop Lincoln Square.

I dined as a guest of D.O.C Delicatessen, courtesy of Zomato.
DOC delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Dessert Box

Chocolate Fondue – $32.80

My friends and I visited The Dessert Box solely for their Matcha Chocolate Fondue, but unfortunately they had a change of menu and took it off 😦 We decided to just stay and ordered the regular Chocolate Fondue because sometimes you just can’t get everything in life you know. The fondue came with a variety of fruits – sliced strawberries and bananas, orange segments, diced kiwi, marshmallows (not a fruit I know, but it was in the same section LOL), pastries – profiteroles, puff pastry sticks, triple chocolate brownies, shortbread and waffles, as well as three scoops of ice cream of our choice, we got green tea, salted caramel and rum and raisin.

The standout of the fondue was definitely the waffle, it was puffy and buttery and did not lose its form when it was dipped in the chocolate. The salted caramel was an unanimous favourite too, it was very caramel-y, with the perfect amount of salt.

We asked the waitress at the end of meal if they’ll ever bring back the Matcha Chocolate Fondue, and she said no 😦 Sad day I know, but it’s okay, we decided that we’ll just buy some matcha powder and our own at home HAHAHA. The Dessert Box had a range of other desserts too, waffles, pancakes, crepes, golden bricks, parfaits and crepe cakes. Their signature dish is their namesake, the dessert box, where you can choose 3, 6, or 9 desserts in small portions, and put in a wooden box – it looked super cute! Service was very friendly, although the place was quite understaffed. I think I will return to try out some of their other offerings!

How to get there:
The Dessert Box is located on Lygon Street, hop on any tram heading out of the city from Flinders Street or Melbourne Central and get off at Lincoln Square, it’s a short 5 minutes walk from the tram stop.

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Seven Seeds

Ah Seven Seeds, so much feels. This is the first cafe I visited around uni back in my first year, and although I loved the coffee, my plate of food had a piece of hair on it, and when I told the waitress about it, the lack of an apology and just the overall poor service made it one of the worst restaurant going experience I’ve had, the fact that the review I left them on Urbanspoon was deleted three times didn’t help either.

Iced Latte – $4.00

Having said all that, clearly I have gone back to Seven Seeds since, and one of the main reasons is their coffee. Although their regular coffee is slightly pricier than usual at $4.00 a cup, the taste cannot be faulted. The iced latte had a robust flavour, and I love the giant cube of ice, which melted slow enough to not dilute the latte too much.

Orange Juice – $5.50

Freshly squeezed OJ always gets a tick in my book, and this tall glass of juice sourced from Vic Market Juices was as fresh as it can get.

Eggs Benedict on English Muffins w/ Corned Beef and a Seeded Mustard Hollandaise – $16.00

We saw someone else from the communal table being served the eggs benedict, and my friend just couldn’t resist. Classics are called that for a reason, you just know all the flavours will work nicely together. The eggs were slightly overcooked however, which can be overlooked for the creamy hollandaise.

Confit Duck Salad w/ Freekah, Corn, Roasted Cashews, Shaved vegetables and a Soy-Lime Dressing – $18.00

The confit duck salad sounded amazing on paper, however, I was thoroughly disappointed. After spending a good ten minutes picking out the carrots (I only like carrots raw and by themselves, not the restaurant’s fault I know), I could only find two pieces of duck,  which pretty much flavourless. The rest of the salad was uninspiring too, but the roasted cashews did give a nice nutty flavour, although it was certainly not enough to save the dish.

House Smoked Salmon on Dark Rye, Poached Eggs, Minted Smashed Peas w/ Horseradish Cream Cheese and a Green Salad – $18.00

This looked a lot more appetising when it was placed on the table, but there were still some faults. The salmon didn’t have a distinct smoky flavour, and the peas definitely didn’t look smashed. Overall, the components did work well together, but it still remained an average dish.

Both the dishes and service were a bit of a hit-and-miss, which seems to be a recurring theme at Seven Seeds from the few times I’ve visited. It’s still very popular amongst students though, the high ceilinged warehouse is packed full throughout the day, and there can be a bit of wait for a table.

You may be wondering, why have I been going back to Seven Seeds again and again considering the lukewarm feelings I have towards it, and the answer to that is simple – convenience. It’s literally a stone’s throw away from The Spot, and yeh, that may seem like a pretty weak reason, but it’s really all I can give you. Would I return? Possibly, although I have discovered some other places around uni that serves up better food, Stovetop, Le Miel Et La Lune, The Vertue of the Coffee Drink just to name a few, so yeh, maybe I’ll just stop by Seven Seeds for a coffee fix from now on.

How to get there:
Catch trams 19 and 59 and get off at Haymarket, and walk for 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you go to Melbourne Uni too, it’s right down Berkeley Street, 5 minutes (if that) walk away from The Spot.

 Click to add a blog post for Seven Seeds on Zomato

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is a new brunch restaurant that just opened up earlier this year in Carlton. Its location is quite secluded, just behind a petrol station on Lygon Street. There is a coffee sign, but half the time it’s hidden behind cars so yeh, there goes the one telltale sign. However, judging by the amount of people there on both occasions I visited, words had clearly gotten around about the new brunch place in town.
Top: Soy Cappuccino
Bottom: Skinny Flat White

With coffee in their name, a huge coffee grinder as a centrepiece, it is inevitable for people to expect some great coffee. And man, my skinny flat white certainly was on point. It had a chocolatey note, and was the perfect temperature – something that’s surprisingly hard to find.

Smoked Fish Chowder – $18.00

This is something that’s not commonly found on a brunch menu – although it’s from the lunch section but still, you get my point – so I was eager to give it a go. The chowder itself was creamy and smooth without being overly rich, and all the seafood – squid, fish, mussels – were cooked perfectly, something that’s very hard to do (I learnt this through My Kitchen Rules LOL). The corns added some more dimension to the dish, and the quail egg was a hidden surprise. As the weather gets colder, I can see this becoming one of Vertue’s signature dish.

Meatball Sub – $18

Although the meatball sub may look small, it was actually extremely filling. However, this was lukewarm when it was placed on our table, the cheese had already gone hard, and the meatballs were a tad dry; the brioche roll had also gone a little soggy from the sauce. The fried sage was an interesting touch, and the apple slaw stopped the dish from getting too heavy. The onion rings had a very crunchy batter, and were satisfying to eat. This is a dish that needs some improvement, but I can definitely see the potential.

Scotch Egg – $21.00

My friend was happy with her choice, the crackling was super crunchy, the scotch egg had the runny yolk that she was able to dip the soldiers into, the cotechino – Italian style sausage – was flavoursome, and the two sauces – onion marmalade and piccalilli mayonnaise – were nice accompaniments.

The overall vibe at Vertue was very inviting, with its high ceilings, and tables that have a nice distance between them, however, one of the waitress was a little pushy – my friend was contemplating between a few dishes, and she pretty much forced her into ordering the first thing she recommended, I’m hoping that was just a one-time thing.

Given that Vertue only opened less than half a year ago, I’m willing to give it some more time to perfect their menu, not so much the items but more the execution, and yeh, I can definitely see it becoming the brunch place to be for students during lunch time.

How to get there:
The Vertue of the Coffee Drink is located on Raffa Place, look for the yellow petrol station on the corner of Lygon Street and Elgin Street, and you’ll see a coffee sign on the wall, follow the arrow and you’ll be there!

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink on Urbanspoon

Universal

Universal Chicken Parmigiana – $14

This may not be the best parma ever, but it’s certainly one of the biggest. And for a little over $10, there’s really nothing to complain about. Although the cheese doesn’t cover the entire chicken schnitzel, and it was a little dry. The chips were amazing, not super crunchy by any means, but the combination of the light seasoning on the outside and the fluffy centre was delicious, I would polish them off if the parma wasn’t so gigantic.

Chicken and Avocado (Spaghetti) w/ Lemonade – $12

Their lunch menu was pretty cheap so we ordered a pasta dish off that too. This was quite bland however, and it’s not what I expected at all. I thought the chicken and avocado will be cut into slices and tossed through the pasta, oh well. Ample amount of salt and pepper was needed, as the sauce lacked flavour.

we tried LOL

Universal can be a bit of a hit and miss, and the service can be pretty atrocious at times. But $14 parma just isn’t something I’m willing to part with just yet, so yeh, this is a restaurant I will return to when I’m extremely hungry but only have a $20 note on me.

How to get there:
Universal is located on Lygon Street, hop on any tram heading out of the city from Flinders Street or Melbourne Central and get off at Lincoln Square, it’s a short 5 minutes walk from the tram stop.

Universal on Urbanspoon